The Hollow and The Saint

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Bloody Christams

Submitted: June 16, 2017

Reads: 61

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Submitted: June 16, 2017

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Looking at the facts, you must be wondering - why would I kill such a good man? Wasn’t he pursuing justice? Wasn’t that my goal too?

Yes, we both shared the same path. However, his road to justice was just too long and narrow compared to mine. I wanted to extract justice for the largest possible number of people. To do that, I had to work for the Illuminati, the strongest and largest secret organization in history. Their actions may have contradicted my beliefs, but I had to turn a blind eye for the time being, and do their bidding in order to climb up the ranks. Then, and only then, could I create a difference in this corrupted world. Meanwhile, small casualties like detective Arthur were inevitable. His sacrifice would be for the greater good.

Is there any other way? The short answer is no! This isn’t a fairy tale, there are no happy endings.

“The world we live in is no different from hell; there are those who are tortured by the fire, there are demons who carry out orders, and then, of course, there is the devil himself,”The Doctor once said.

That’s the ugly truth of the world we live in. It’s like we are living on a sinking ship, and in order to survive, you have to get yourself wet. You must swim with everything you’ve got to reach the shore. The ocean won’t split itself in two, rolling out the red carpet, with flowers on the side for you. That only happens in kids’ stories. We only feed our children such nonsense in order to turn them into blind sheep, their only purpose is to live each until their time runs out. This is the world that I live in, this is my reality.

***

The fateful night had arrived. I was hiding in the bush at the corner of Arthur’s garden, waiting for him to arrive home.

“Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining,” I heard his daughter singing.

Nice tune. The last time I heard this song was back at the orphanage.  

Nicole was preparing the table for dinner. It was 8:30 p.m. when Arthur finally arrived home. As he came out of his car, I had a tranquilizer syringe ready in my right hand. I was ready.

“Daddy! Why didn’t you bring Santa with you? It’s Christmas?” His son showed up.

“Now, now, Richard, didn’t I tell you that you had to wait for tomorrow? Santa will come late at night in his sleigh. I’m sure he’ll leave you wonderful presents! You were a good boy this year, weren’t you?” Arthur replied.

“Yes daddy! I was a very good boy,” he yelled with joy.

Good boy my ass. That little runt just wasted my window of opportunity.

Luckily for me, I hadn’t been seen. However, I was running out of time, and I had to act fast.

‘Never enter a house you don’t know from the front door.’ That’s a thief’s first rule.

I quickly glanced through the window, the path was clear. Using a knife, I managed to open the window. I scrambled inside, and found myself in the living room; the dining room was in my sight. As I was about to close the window, I heard Nicole’s voice.

“Honey, Kids, the table is almost ready! Come on down! Oh! Who opened the window? It’s already cold in here,” she said, as she set the table. She came and closed the window, rubbing her hands fast together from the cold.

Thankfully, I had managed to take cover behind the couch at the last second.

 I have to be careful.

From the inside, the house was homely. From the flowery orange wallpaper that made you feel like it was still fall, to the warm brown carpets, from the simple yet cozy furniture illuminated by the bright fire, to the black and white family pictures, it was a typical family house.

Nimbly, I made my way to the corridor, hugging the wall and sticking to the shadows, when suddenly, I heard Arthur’s voice coming from the second floor. I couldn’t make out what he was saying.

 He must be talking with his kids. That’s my opportunity!

The contract mentioned that the evidence should be stored somewhere inside Arthur’s personnel room. I was sure that he would stop off there to file his paperwork before dinner. That’s the benefit of having a target with a solid daily routine. Located on the ground floor, right next the stairs, I was standing right in front of the door.

Locked! Now what?!

This wasn’t some thriller story, where a person can easily pick a lock with a paperclip in a matter of seconds. Picking locks is a skill, with different locks that come with different difficulties, not to mention how much time it takes - time I didn’t have. Observation was the key; I had to look for a loophole. The space between the lock and the latch was too narrow for a knife or plastic card to squeeze in. The lock I had stumbled upon was a new lever model, there’s no way something like that would’ve worked. Also, any damage to the door or lock would’ve only raised Arthur’s suspicions.

I was running out of time, standing in the middle of the corridor where anyone could pass by at any moment. Arthur had deliberately installed this lock to prevent anyone from entering his sanctuary. But not me, I was more cunning than that sly detective.

My eyes went directly to the left side of the door. I brought out my knife, and wedged it between the bottom knuckle and the pin of the hinge, loosening the pin until it came free. Once all three pins were out, the door opened easily from the opposite side of the lock. I entered the room, unlocking it from the inside to return the pins, and quickly returned, locking the door behind me. Suddenly, I felt my heart racing, and sweat streaming down my body. The adrenaline was kicking in.

Inside was almost like an investigation room, with papers and photos all over the walls, and files swarming on top of the desk.

All of this… It’s all about the Ericksons!

I looked left and right for a nice hiding spot, then crawled under the desk and waited patiently for his arrival, again. This was my last chance.

Seeing the room in such a state, I began to feel somewhat… disturbed. He had put so much hard work into this investigation to ensure that the killer would be brought to justice, and in the end, it was all going to waste. Not only that, but he was going to pay for it with his life.

***

My feet were slowly turning numb, and for a minute I doubted my plan. Then, I heard heavy, deliberate footsteps approaching.

These are a man’s footsteps - it must be Arthur!

He entered the room and made his way to the safe on the wall. Arthur opened it and stored a file. Before he closed it, I grabbed him from behind, forcing a cloth saturated with chloroform over his nose and mouth. Two minutes, that’s all I needed.

I secured his hands, while, he kept on hitting my knee with his foot, trying to make me lose balance. I didn’t waver. Suddenly, he managed to knock me back at the wall using his body weight, knocking some books off a shelf onto the floor. Quickly, using my own weight, I laid my body on his back, pinning Arthur to the floor. He was completely overpowered. Luckily, his family were too busy to notice the ruckus, or things would have gone from bad to worse.

He began to lose consciousness, and finally gave up fighting it. I could see tears welling up in his eyes. Those were not tears of fear; those were the tears of a man with unfinished business. He still had so much left to do, so many things to achieve. He had a dream to realize. I couldn’t let it end like that.

“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine. I will take it from here, you just… rest,” I whispered in his ear.

I closed the door, picked him up, and put him on his chair behind the desk, leaving a suicide note in front of him. I took down all the pictures and notes on the wall that were related to the investigation.

I planted his gun into his left hand. Then, using his own finger on the trigger, I shot him in the head.

“Arthur! Is everything alright?!” Nicole yelled after hearing the gunshot.

Quickly, I made my way out of the room. Just as I was about to leave through the window, I saw him - Arthur’s kid, standing as still as a wooden plank, his eyes fixed on me.

My heart was beating like the drum of war, it was all I could hear. My head was swarming with different thoughts. Any assassin in my position would have only one choice, dispose of any witnesses. But killing a child, that thought had never even crossed my mind before. Staring back at those eyes, I couldn’t help but think of myself when I was his age. I remembered how helpless I was, bullied by the kids at the orphanage.

 Look at how clueless this boy is, so weak and fragile, can I really do it? No! I can’t jeopardize the mission! The contract always comes first! I will shoot in the head, yeah, that way he won’t feel a thing, it will be quick. But wouldn’t that make things even worse? They will surely know that Arthur was assassinated. What should I do?!

“Arthur!” Nicole yelled. She had found him.

 His brains must be dripping all over the desk by now.

Still, the boy didn’t blink. He was in total shock.

I guess I don’t have a choice after all.

“Kid, I have taken something precious from you.” I said. “When you grow up, look for Hollow, and I shall give you something in return. If you are worthy, that is.” Then I left the house, without looking back.

That silence, that cold stare, those were not weaknesses, those were the traits of a professional assassin. Without knowing it, that night I had awoken a monster, setting up a ticking bomb that would  find its way to me in the years to come... but we will get to that later. I promise.

 


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